Marching forward: Laker Marching Band season means some mainstays, fewer performances, same passion
As always, the Laker Marching Band is creating pregame and halftime
shows, even without the structure of a football game and fewer
opportunities to perform.
Still, in a season and semester and year of adjustments, and bouts of
disrupted momentum for so many, John Martin, the band's director, said
he is still experiencing the constants of any marching band season:
passion and dedication.
Rehearsals for the Laker Marching Band was spirited.
Band members take a moment to study.
With football out of the picture, he said he has given all students
the option of marching, taking the class through a hybrid model or
waiting until next year, with the reminder that no matter their
decision, they are still part of the Laker Marching Band.
Most chose to march, he said. "Students want to be part of
something normal, to have that familiar blanket," Martin said.
The view from above.
Image Credit: Amanda Pitts
Like others in music at Grand Valley, Martin and his team had to make
adjustments for safety reasons. He led a shortened camp at the
beginning of season. The outdoor rehearsals are reduced in time and
broken into increments with breaks for the air to clear. Face
coverings and bell covers are part of the routine now.
He also needed to figure out how to socially distance the performers.
Four marching band steps means about 7-and-a-half feet — Martin said
he even inclined his 6-foot frame on the ground to prove his point.
Special safety protocols are part of this season
Band members rehearse with instruments using bell covers.
A band member practices precision.
While there have been disruptions to the performance schedule, some
upcoming shows are planned. Information is available on the GVSU Laker
Marching Band website.
Through it all, he and his team have made it a point to keep the band
connected both in person and virtually and to continue to stoke
members' excitement for the season, modified as it is this year.
Because in the end, they are still part of the Laker Marching Band.
The pride continues for band members.
Image Credit: Kendra Stanley-Mills